Businesses love to talk about customer service. It is what every company wants to be known for. Why, then, do so many fail miserably at this one thing? What makes customer service so hard to actually achieve?
The idea behind the concept does not seem that hard. Make your customers happy; make them feel valued and special. Sounds easy, yet the number one consumer complaint is customer service, which transcends across both small and large business alike. So what are we missing?
The Other Human Element.
As business owners and managers, we will often train our staff in the ways of great customer service, but the training often misses the mark. It fails to show the human element, and this is a twofold issue. On one side, we need to help our employees understand the psychology of great customer service and not just the mechanics.
Many look at customer service as a complaint department, but great customer service is provided the first time around. Customer service is not so much about the service as it is about the experience. Do you want to be known for great customer service? Then you have to be known for offering a great experience.
This brings us to the other human element that is often forgotten when it comes to attempting to create a great experience for your customers. Happy employees make happy customers. Business after business talks about promoting customer service, but then they fail to provide their employees with the proper tools to provide an exceptional experience.
There are three things that employees need in order to help you build an atmosphere that breeds amazing experiences:
1. Employees have to be empowered to serve the customer. Whether you’re a small business or a huge call center, the most frustrating thing for both your employees and customers is a large bureaucracy that gets in the way of service. Your front line employees have to be able to make tactical decisions on the fly in order to best serve each individual customer.
2. Employees must feel safe to come to you with ideas, concerns, suggestions, or even complaints. Allowing your employees to have an open dialogue with you allows them to feel valued, but it also gives them a safe place to blow off steam if needed and talk through a frustrating day. That way, they can come back tomorrow knowing that they are supported.
3. Employees have to be held to high expectations but, on the flip side, must also be rewarded and paid according to those expectations. The old saying, “You get what you pay for” is especially true when it comes to hiring the right employees. The hardest working employees demand and deserve a higher level of pay. Attract the right people by offering just a little more money, but then make sure that your employees know you pay a premium because you expect the very best from them.